20 June 2001 Lessons learned for STRV-2 satellite-to-ground lasercom experiment
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Proceedings Volume 4272, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XIII; (2001) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.430772
Event: Photonics West 2001 - LASE, 2001, San Jose, CA, United States
Abstract
A low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite laser communication (lasercom) terminal, built under funding by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), was flown as part of the Space Technology Research Vehicle 2 (STRV-2) experiment module. The STRV-2 experiment module was housed on the Air Force Tri-Service Experiments 5 (TSX-5) spacecraft, which was launched on June 7, 2000. The lasercom flight hardware weighs 31.5 pounds, with a volume less than a cubic foot, and is capable of communication at data rates up to 1 Gbps. The LEO satellite-to-ground lasercom experiment is designed for slant ranges up to 2000 km and elevation angles above 15 degrees over the horizon. This experiment's goal was to demonstrate a satellite lasercom link that would validate the capability and readiness of lasercom for inter-satellite crosslinks, and data downlinks from LEO Earth sensing satellites. The mechanical and electrical systems of the satellite terminal survived launch and were functioning correctly. Unfortunately, no lasercom link from space was achieved because the satellite terminal had troubles acquiring and tracking the ground terminal beacons. The acquisition sequence was designed based on a spacecraft interface specification. The primary reason for the lack of acquisition was that the ephemeris and spacecraft attitude control was out of specification. The acquisition sequence required that the ground terminal beacons illuminate the satellite. The divergence of the ground terminal beacons was designed to the ephemeris specification, which stated that ephemeris be within +/- 100 m cross-track and +/- 500 m in-track error would be provided prior to a satellite pass.
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Isaac I. Kim, Brian Riley, Nicholas M. Wong, Mary Mitchell, Wesley Brown, Harel Hakakha, Prasanna Adhikari, Eric J. Korevaar, "Lessons learned for STRV-2 satellite-to-ground lasercom experiment", Proc. SPIE 4272, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XIII, (20 June 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.430772; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.430772
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